On the Town: Masons install officers for a new year

Whether it is the quadrennial change or reaffirmation of the nation's chief executive, a personal pledge to make changes in one's personal life or the annual rite of many clubs and groups to reorganize their officers, the month of January is rife with change. That change was celebrated by members of Burbank Lodge 406 of Free and Accepted Masons as they installed their newly elected and appointed officers this past Saturday evening.

In a formal ceremony, held at the Burbank Masonic Center on Glenoaks Boulevard, local Masons gathered for the 104th time to support their 2013 leadership and honor those who served throughout 2012. Under the direction of Installing Officer Ken Barnes, Master of Ceremonies Jeff William Yates and Installing Chaplain Arthur Beddoe, the assemblage witnessed the elevation of Billy D. Campbell to serve as the organization's 2013 master.

“If you had told me how much I would have enjoyed this work, and how engaged I would have become, I would have never believed it,” said Campbell. “I'm so proud to be involved with our gentle fraternity. I'm proud of what we do for our community and for individuals — taking a good man and making him a better man. There is great satisfaction in having done something that positively impacts the life of someone else.”

Along with Campbell, who was accompanied by his wife, Lorrie, and father, Billy R. Campbell of Fort Worth, Texas, the organization saw Erik Adams, Peter Babaian, Marc Canterbury and Norman Furman installed as their 2013 elected officers. Attendees also bore witness to the installation of appointed officers Christopher Barnes, Simon McIlroy, Tommy Quiroz, Jeremy Chongco, Leon Adkins, James Laage, Jesus Valdiviezo, Andrew McReynolds and outgoing Master Steve Harris.

“It was a wonderful year highlighted by the visit of our Grand Master Frank Loui,” said Harris as he reflected on his year of service. “It was a very family-oriented year for our members and a great year because of the dedicated officers who made me look good.”

In 1909, a dispensation was granted by the California Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for a group of men who would become Burbankers (Burbank was not yet an established city) to form lodge 406. The organization's inaugural meeting took place on July 1 of that year in their first home on South San Fernando Road.

With initial membership applications received from five ranchers, five farmers, a doctor, a carpenter, a teamster, a butcher, a teacher, an oil driller and a railroad worker, the Burbank lodge continued to grow, moved to its second location on Olive Avenue in 1931 and its current location in 2000.

Today, with 225 members and more than a century of service to the community and the charitable organizations they embrace, local Masons are currently supporting Raising a Reader, a national nonprofit organization that helps families successfully build and sustain literacy routines in the home.


DAVID LAURELL can be reached by email dlaurell@aol.com or (818) 563-1007.

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